News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

Breitenbush highway reopened

The full length of the Breitenbush Highway has been reopened to vehicle traffic for the first time since the 2020 wildfires.

The highway, also known as U.S. Forest Service Road 46, had been available to motorists for just 12 miles or so since last summer. 

Starting June 27 motorists could travel all the way to Estacada or to the popular Olallie Lake area. 

Numerous trailheads, campgrounds and other recreational opportunities are located in the corridor, which cuts through Willamette National Forest and Mt. Hood National Forest property.

The road, which also is popular with cyclists, is not open permanently, however. 

Forest Service officials say they will close it again in the fall to remove the remaining impacted trees and to complete the final road repair and reconstruction. 

The work, estimated to continue into 2024, is designed to improve the long-term sustainability of the corridor and prevent future closures.

“Travelers are encouraged to exercise caution and drive slowly through the fire-impacted areas as there are increased hazards in burned areas, including falling trees and limbs, falling rocks, possible landslides, debris flows and flash floods,” Forest Service officials said in a press release.

“Avoid visiting fire-affected areas when there is significant wind, rain or other stormy weather.”

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